The world of 'The Giver' reveals itself as a dystopia. Discuss

alarmduckBiotechnology

Dec 12, 2012 (4 years and 10 months ago)

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Himasha Panagoda
8B2

Year 8 English

The Giver
-

essay

2012


The world of ‘The Giver’ reveals itself as a dystopia. Discuss



Ever since the
release of
Louis Lowry’s award winning

yet controversial

novel ‘The Giver’
there has been
debate
as to w
hether
this fictional society i
s a utopia or in fact a dystopia. In
order to produce a conclusion, the definition of the word dystopia must

first

be understood.
In
a d
ystopian world, the society h
as taken
away

basic human rights

and
is extremely biased and
contro
lled. The citizens live knowingly or unknowingly in a nightmare.
This community

starts
out like a utopian society, but the author slowly reveals it as the perfect example of a

d
ystopian
society.

Citizens in the world of the ‘The Giver’ live in a highly
controlled

and strictly censored

community, which deprives them of self
-
autonomy
. People

are supressed from creativity,
individuality, and any

emotional depth
. They
do not have the freedom to make choices and due

to this they are indoctrinated.



Basi
c human rights are
supressed fr
om the citizens of ‘The Giver’ and any humanity is taken
away from them. Individuality, creativity
, imagination

and emotional depth are some of the
rights humans possess.
In the world of ‘The Giver’ it is apparent that humans

have been
genetically modified

so people are supressed from individuality.

Jonas is one of the few
members of the community who
has pale eyes
whilst ‘almost every

[other] citizens

has

dark
eyes’. This genetic modification has been administered throughout the com
munity to eradicate

any

differences and
so that
everyone would resemble each other.
Even calling attention to
things “that were unsettling or different about individuals” was ru
de. This unofficial rule has
also
supressed individuality.
Colour is something that can stimulate creativity but that has

also

been relinquished

too to supress imagination.
Once again, genetic engineering has caused the
inability to
see colour which is des
cribed by The Giver as ‘seeing beyond’. The Elders have also
eliminated emotions because of the

risk of

rebellion among the community
. The only people
who have access to any emotional depth
are

The Giver and Jonas.
When Jonas
asks

his parents
if the loved
him, they laugh
and say that they

enjoy him

.
Due to this strict censorship of strong
emotions
, feelings such as love have

become


so meaningless that
it has become obsolete”.
This
optio
n to remove basic human rights
gained control of many things’ but
‘let go of

[so may]

others’.

Without individuality, creativity and strong emotio
ns, people live meaning
less lives
.
This perfectly represents a dystopia.



Indoctrination plays a

major role in the community and it

forces people to

not question.
Because
of the society’s obsession with Sameness and perfection, people have become
indoctrinated to believe
certain rules, beliefs

and are taught
not
to
question. When Jonas father
releases

a newborn baby, Jonas realises
that his father has

killed

it”
. However,
Jonas’ father is
unaware of this because he is indoctrinated to ‘release’ small children as his job as a Nurturer.
He does not know the meaning of death because of the stri
ngent rules that have taught hi
m not
to question. Due to this lack of questioning, c
itizens are kept ignorant
of many things that could
question the Elders


power. The Elders are able to manipulate people by utilizing the citizen’s
ignorance.
Another way the
citizens are indoctrinated is with

euphemism.
Words such as
‘release’ or ‘Samenes
s’ are used in replacement of more sinister words such as ‘death’ or
‘confor
mity’. This euphemism
helps

indoctrinate people of the community into following the
Elders cruel power and does not allow them to question the nature of the word.
This
indoctrination and lack of self
-
autonomy is what is feared most about dystopias.

When people
are not in full control of their mind and unable to think for himself or herself is a sole example
or a horrible community known as

a

dystopia.



The worst
thing the community has done is destroy the only thing that

humanity had left is
eradicating

free will.
People in the world of ‘The Giver’ are
deprived of
freedom of choice.
The
community is

so
meticulously
ordered’ by the Elders

that

no one

in the commun
ity

can chose
anything for
himself or herself
.


The people are given certain objects and ‘privileges’ at certain
ages, their occupation is assigned to them and even their spouse is chosen for them.
Life
“is

so
orderly, so predictable,
so painless”

that the people in the community live carefree yet trapped
lives
.
Imagine living in this world, w
her
e
we
cannot chose what to wear, what colour our shirt
is or even what we eat. In our world, choice is something that makes living worthwhile and
exciting.
When this is taken away
,

life becomes shallow, dull and mundane. Even from a young
age, citizens are taught not to make
independent
decision
s

and let the Elders chose

everything,
as it will “…p
rotect the people from the wrong choices”.
These wrong choices
could disrupt the
serene community and stop it from running smoothly. However
this prevents people making
their own choices.
Leading
a shallow life with no free will is what has made the society in ‘The
Giver’ a dystopia.



People who have no freedom
of choice or basic human rights and indoctrinated into certain
beliefs is what makes the world of ‘The Giver’ a dystopian world.
The social order in the world
of The Giver is no doubt a dystopia.
The Elder’s pursuit for perfection and creation of a utopia
has lead to the community becoming a dystopia.
Frighteningly, Louis Lowry hints that this
could be lying ahead for the future

generation of humanity. This is the possible society that will
dominate the

future if humanity doesn’t change.